Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes With the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program

95% of Americans with diabetes suffer from type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that often presents itself in people under 20 who are otherwise healthy. Type 2 diabetes, however, is usually a preventable disease. Insulin is the hormone that removes glucose from the blood and transfers it to the body’s cells to power cellular work.  With Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas either does not produce enough insulin or cells ignore insulin. This causes glucose to build up in the blood stream, instead of being absorbed by cells.

People with diabetes live, on average, 10 years shorter than people without the disease. This is due to the many complications that diabetes may cause, including blindness, kidney failure, and limb amputations. Those with type 2 diabetes are also two to four times more likely to suffer from heart disease or a stroke.

What puts me at risk of developing type 2 diabetes?

High risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:

  • High body weight, especially obesity
  • Smoking
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Women with a history of gestational diabetes
  • Over the age of 45

Additionally, some ethnic groups have a higher rate of developing type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

There are many different symptoms of type 2 diabetes, and they vary from person to person. However, the most common symptoms include:

  • Increased hunger after eating
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision

If any of the previous symptoms present themselves suddenly and dramatically, you should see your doctor right away.

How can I reduce my risk of Type 2 diabetes?

Lifestyle modifications can decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than 50%. This includes adopting a balanced diet and increasing your exercise levels. Studies have shown that increasing your intake of whole grains and fiber can help control your blood sugar levels. It’s also wise to share any concerns about developing type 2 diabetes with your doctor – who can help you figure out a plan that’s right for you.

Additionally, the Dallas YMCA offers a diabetes prevention program to those in need of assistance. The program aims to help participants reduce their risks of developing type 2 diabetes by reducing body weight by over 7%, and increasing physical activity to 150 minutes per week.

Can I participate in the Dallas YMCA Diabetes Prevention program?

To qualify for the diabetes prevention program, an individual must have a body mass index of 25 or over, and be at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, or have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes.

The program includes 16 one-hour sessions, plus an eight-month maintenance phase to educate participants on physical activity, healthy eating, and other behavioral and lifestyle changes.  For more information about your eligibility, contact your local Dallas YMCA or the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance at 1-800-237-4942.

Photo via rsmith4321 on Flickr

Authored by: YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas